October 17, 2003
MEDIA CONTINUE TO ACCENTUATE THE NEGATIVE
** Bombings at the Baghdad
Hotel and Turkish Embassy highlight continuing insecurity in Iraq.
** Demonstrations and
attempts to set up a "shadow" government indicate diminishing Shia
toleration for the CPA.
** Creation of the Iraq
Stabilization Group under NSA Rice prompts speculation as to who is in charge
of Iraq policy.
** Turkish, Pakistani, and
Korean outlets fear that their forces will join U.S. troops as targets of
Two major bombings are evidence that the security situation is out
of control-- Analysts judged the
bombing of the Turkish embassy a "loud and clear message" and a
"precise signal" for Ankara to reconsider the wisdom of dispatching
troops to Iraq. Austria's Neue
Kronenzeitung stated that while Bush is "trying to sell" a
successful reconstruction, scenes of "fire, smoke and injured
victims" paint a different picture.
Coalition now faces an openly hostile Shia majority-- Qatar's Doha Gulf Times stated that
recent mistakes by the U.S. have increased the risk of "losing the
cooperation" of the Shia majority.
Other commentators have already seen disturbing signs that "Sunnis
and radical Shias are cooperating" in opposition to coalition forces. A Hungarian analyst posited that Iraqi Shias
are working on creating "their own autonomous state."
The formation of the ISG raised questions of who is setting Iraq
policy in the U.S.-- Writers saw signs of
instability within the administration's Iraq team and interpreted President
Bush's selection of his close advisor Rice to head the ISG as a sign that he
finds himself "alone at the helm."
Germany's Die Welt opined that "Rumsfeld’s military
misjudgments and diplomatic blunders" have cost him his leadership role on
Iraq. The Irish Times concluded
that "the buck doesn't stop anywhere in Iraq; no one is accountable."
Media enthusiasm for committing troops to Iraqi peacekeeping is
scarce-- Kosovo's mass
circulation Bota Sot, with an eye towards mass unemployment among
Albanian youth, saw an opportunity to recruit "tens and hundreds of
thousands" of volunteer troops from among their ranks. Pakistani papers fear Iraqis will interpret
the dispatch of troops by Islamabad as a "hostile act," with the
centrist News declaring that "the farther away from [Iraq] that
Pakistan stays the better."
Turkey's economic-political Dunya opined that to believe Turkish
troops would not be viewed as occupiers would be "wishful thinking."
EDITOR: James Deacon
EDITORS' NOTE: This
analysis is based on 76 reports from 32 countries over 9-16 October 2003.
Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.
Iraqis Are Defying Terrorist Intimidation"
The conservative Times editorialized (10/14): "Iraqi civilians...have been killed in
attacks calculated to hamper reconstruction, cripple Iraq’s essential services
and demoralize the millions of people trying to rebuild decent lives after 25
years of tyranny and brutality. The most
recent came on Sunday, when six Iraqis were killed by a massive car bomb
outside the hotel used by the Iraqi Governing Council. The agencies now rely on locally employed
Iraqis. That they function at all says
more about Iraqi determination not to be intimidated or to let slip the chance
to rebuild their country. They are the
real heroes--they and the police, engineers, teachers, doctors and
administrators who daily risk their lives to go about their jobs. Few of those shot, bombed or assassinated are
remembered by name. Their sacrifice
deserves to be saluted."
"Let’s Douse The Fires"
Former Socialist Minister Claude Allegre held in right-of-center
weekly L’Express (10/16): “Today
the U.S. finds itself in an extremely difficult position in the Middle
East. In Iraq, it is perceived as the
occupier, not the liberator.... Even if
the Bush administration carries a huge responsibility in all this, we cannot
adopt the arrogant attitude of he who has been proven right. The U.S. belongs to the community of free and
democratic nations which defend human rights.... We have a fundamental agreement with the
U.S.; we belong to the same side. This
is the time to say it loud and clear out of solidarity and friendship for a
nation France owes so much to.... For
Iraq, the solution, acceptable to all, must come from the Americans.... While in the U.S. everything in politics can
change quickly, the scar of 9/11 will stay.
We need to show the Americans our solidarity, our friendship, including
in the misfortunes they created. This is
where true friends can make a difference....
France must work towards this end, but for once it must do so with
modesty and discretion.”
"Terrorism Is Everywhere"
Jean Daniel remarked in left-of-center weekly Le Nouvel
Observateur (10/16): “The latest
attacks in Baghdad should be able to lead all the proponents and opponents of
the war in Iraq to a common observation: Iraq has turned into a refuge for all
suicide bombers. We opposed the war...in
the way it was led...but we also distance ourselves from those who today wish
for America’s defeat. We do not side
with the Iraqi dictatorship. The French
government has run the risk of looking suspicious because it did not assert
these two positions of principle clearly enough.”
"Security At An Impasse In Iraq"
Francois d’Alancon remarked in Catholic La Croix
(10/15): “The lack of security in Iraq
is not helping the U.S. nor the Iraqi Governing Council. Every Iraqi, whether he is Shiite, Christian,
Sunni or Kurdish is wondering what he has won or lost. They are all caught in a mix of contradictory
feelings. Everyone expects everything
from the Americans, but at the same time everyone is proclaiming his
disappointment, frustration, exasperation, and at times hostility, with the
situation. As a Baghdad University
Professor said, ‘everyone agrees that the Americans need more time, but everyone
also believes that Iraq is plunging into chaos.’”
"Signs Of A Concerted Terrorist Plan"
Renaud Girard commented in right-of-center Le Figaro
(10/14): “The Iraqi population is
beginning to understand that the target of violence in Iraq is the Iraqi
political institution established by the Americans.... The invisible enemies of the U.S. are
pursuing their Jihad against America.
Their aim today in Iraq is to attack all the Iraqis who accept to
collaborate with the Americans.... While
the various groups are not necessarily organized, everything is happening as if
there was a concerted effort against America’s presence.... The groups’ targets are ‘soft
targets'...because the Americans present are barricaded in bunkers, without any
real contact with the local population....
The problem is that the Iraqi government is paralyzed by fear and that
the U.S. administration in Iraq is totally cut off from reality.... The question therefore is how, practically
speaking, Washington’s democratization of Iraq can be implemented under the
"Baghdad In The Throws Of Terror"
Renaud Girard commented in right-of-center Le Figaro
(10/10): “In theory, violence was
supposed to be circumscribed to within the ‘Sunni triangle' in an area between
Baghdad, Tikrit and Faluja. But this
theory is no longer true.... Paul Bremer
is facing a new challenge: the Shiites and the Kurds, his best allies, are
fervently opposed to the arrival of Turkish troops, which the Pentagon
considers as essential in order to improve security in Iraq.”
GERMANY: "Points In
Favor Of The UN"
Karl Groebe editorialized in left-of-center Frankfurter
Rundschau (10/14): “The council
chosen by U.S. overseer Paul Bremer himself is apparently looking to distance
itself publicly from its sponsors. This
is due to the pressure exerted by broad parts of the Iraqi population.... Of course, many members of the council are
hardly in touch with reality. Some are
losing their supposed basis, in part to political resignation, in part to
radical populists grouped around young Muktada as-Sadr. The fact that he is not ordained is not
important; he mobilizes those without hope because he does not belong to any
kind of establishment. Time is working
in favor of radicalization. Iraqi
self-government only after the sell-out of the country has been completed will
lead to uprisings. In order to avoid
that, there is only one way [to go]: Transfer
of responsibility to the UN and self-government as soon as possible.”
Dietrich Alexander judged in right-of-center Die Welt
(10/13): "Anything new in
Iraq? Yes! The Organization of the Islamic Conference
(OIC) intends to recognize the Provisional Iraqi Council as the official
government of Iraq. If the OIC’s heads
of government were indeed to re-appraise the governing council in Baghdad, it
would, indeed, be recognition from an important side for the stabilization
efforts in Iraq.... The OIC could do
even more, i.e. send troops...and cease ideological debates on whether by doing
so one would help the Americans occupy a sister nation.... It might be the only sign pointing a way out
of the deadly impasse Iraq has now become.”
Michael Stuermer opined in right-of-center Die Welt
(10/11): “Was Secretary
Rumsfeld well advised to vent his anger about his setback during talks with
journalists?…. In order to maintain
peace, the White House felt it necessary to state that the Pentagon was still
responsible in matters Iraq. Militarily,
it may be true, politically it is not.
Rumsfeld’s military misjudgments and diplomatic blunders have aroused anger
among senators and representatives. But
from now on, the State Department...will have a strong say. And the final say [is with] the president,
assisted by Condoleezza Rice. The
Europeans should be prepared that Washington will return to alliance diplomacy. It is a gain to win allies and coordinate
with the UN, something which Rumsfeld sees as a loss.”
"Rumsfeld Poses Question Of Who Is In Charge"
Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich judged
(10/10): “President Bush knows that the
likelihood of his re-election decreases with an increase in the horror news
from Baghdad. Therefore, Iraq must
disappear from the news, from the national psyche. This will only succeed if the administration
radically changes course: towards more UN, more internationalism, more
responsibility for the Iraqis themselves.
The greatest hurdle on this path is not rebellious Shias or insidious
Baathists, but cabinet members Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. If Bush were honest, he would have to include
Vice President Cheney in the axis-of-evil list.
Now the power struggle has openly broken out. Rumsfeld is to relinquish responsibility, but
ignores the order.... He is asking who
is in charge, and the president must reply.”
ITALY: "The Challenge
Between Ankara And The Kurds"
Alberto Negri wrote in leading business daily Il Sole-24 Ore
(10/15): “The attack against the Turkish
Embassy comes one week after Ankara’s decision to send troops in Iraq, which
had been met with immediate opposition by the transitional government in
Baghdad.... Turkey’s intervention is
part of an ample strategic and geopolitical plan. Ankara has four strong points: its military
power; the political primacy as the only mature democracy in an Islamic
country; its economy; and finally the strategy elaborated by the Bush
Administration for the post-Saddam, synthesized by the Defense Department’s
number two man Paul Wolfowitz....
Turkey, a faithful NATO stronghold, is getting ready to reaffirm its
weight as a regional power in Iraq....
But why are the Turks intervening only now? The deeper reason is the prominent role played
by the Kurds and Shiites on the Iraqi political scene. The fundamental reason behind Ankara’s
decision to participate in a highly risky mission of an uncertain outcome is to
contain Kurdish independence and Iran’s influence.”
"Nostalgia For The Ottoman Empire"
Marco Guidi judged in Rome's center-left daily Il Messaggero
(10/15): “The suicide attack against the
Turkish Embassy in Baghdad is a precise signal which is being launched on the
eve of Ankara’s decision to send troops to Iraq.... If we consider that yesterday Americans and
Turks signed an agreement to eliminate the remaining PKK forces, then we
understand why none of the participants in the Iraqi drama view in a positive
way the arrival of Turkish soldiers.
After all, a good percentage of the Turkish population and of Turkish
political world does not want interference in Iraqi affairs.... The impression is that this will not be the
Boris Bancheri opined in centrist, influential daily La Stampa
(10/14): “What is striking in the Iraqi
situation is that the guerrillas lump all of their enemies together: the
Americans first, and alongside them the UN and all the Iraqis who are in some
way involved in the reconstruction of the country, or who at least are not
opposed to the present government, whether they be Shiite, Sunni, Christian or
Kurdish.... One has the impression that
this is not simply a general uprising against the foreigner, but rather a
foreign presence which has furnished bait to the civil war.... Will it be enough for the Americans to go
away, or that a date for the transfer of powers to the local institutions be
announced, for peace to magically return?...
No matter how things go, it will be a long walk for the foreigners
through the Iraqi maze, before the country regains security and stability.”
"The Foreign Press Is Unaware Iraq Is Free"
Elite, classical liberal daily Il Foglio held (10/14): “The double car bomb that exploded on Sunday
in downtown Baghdad...was an attack against the Iraqis who are beginning to
self-govern.... The bomb aimed to strike
and hit the new liberated Iraq.... There
are a handful of Saddam loyalists, who together with the Arab-Islamic fascists,
want to reinstate the dictatorship and kill whoever is working towards a free
and democratic Iraq.... Six months ago
there was no freedom of expression in Iraq....
Today the Ministry of Information no longer exists and 170 newspapers
have been founded. Foreigners are free
to move around and Iraqis are buying satellite dishes. Six months ago there was a dictatorship,
today Baghdad residents chose 88 consultative councils.... Correspondents don’t talk about [this]. One of two things is true: either Bremer’s
information is American propaganda or the silence of foreign journalists is
"Bush: I Had To Stop That Crazy Man Saddam"
Stefano Trincia noted in Rome center-left daily Il Messaggero
(10/10): “Bush has asked for help from
those Americans that are looking at the ‘black hole’ of the Iraqi war with
growing alarm.... Yesterday’s speech is
the second phase of a media offensive launched by the White House in an attempt
to improve the fate of the administration....
Just as though nothing had happened in the meantime, both Rice and Bush
insisted on the WMD argument: despite the fact that the CIA commission, headed
by the expert David Kay, has returned from Baghdad without concrete evidence,
the President attacked skeptics.... Bush
accused the mass media of furnishing a distorted picture of Iraqi
reality.... While Bush is trying to
solve the risky Iraqi trap...he is dangerously nearing a showdown with
Syria. The proposal for economic
sanctions against Damascus has begun the path towards approval.”
"The Long Shadow Of The Untraceable Dictator"
Bernardo Valli opined in left-leaning, influential La
Repubblica (10/10): “Today, Iraq is
both a liberated and occupied country.
It was liberated from a bloodthirsty dictator and occupied by a
superpower whose presence annoys national sentiment and whose inefficiency
creates vast dissatisfaction and brings scarce consideration. In the liberated Iraq there is no longer the
oppression of a dictator who drew inspiration from Stalin.... There is freedom of opinion, of expression,
of association...and economic freedom....
But there is the anguish of the occupied Iraq...the suspension of national
sovereignty.... The proud society does
not easily recognize the invaders’ right to decide who should govern their
RUSSIA: "It Must Come
Alfred Kokh wrote in reformist business-oriented Kommersant
(10/10): "It is a cinch that
privatization in Iraq will give rise to the same charges of corruption as in
Russia.... Everything will come off if
the Americans can handle the press covering their xenophobic privatization in
Iraq. U.S. corporations may cause some
trouble, though, if they demand 'honest' privatization with access for foreign
investors. But even they must see
benefit in xenophobia as a conflict-free option, knowing that they can buy up
stock from the Iraqis later on."
AUSTRIA: "End Of The
Foreign affairs editor Gudrun Harrer wrote in liberal daily Der
Standard (10/14): “The name of the
new group that issued death threats against the members of the governing
council and all the Iraqis that cooperate with the U.S. occupation force, is
somewhat perplexing: The group is named after the nephew and son-in-law of
prophet Muhammad, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who is the fourth Caliph after Muhammad
for the Sunnis, and the first Imam for the Shias, and so important that he is
even mentioned in their creed.... It is
possible that the name signifies a compromise: a signal that radical Sunnis and
radical Shias are cooperating in their campaign against the occupiers. The good thing about such a
shoulder-to-shoulder stance is that the Shi’ite mainstream continues to stay
away from the armed fighting; the bad thing is that the terror would still
spread from the ‘Sunni triangle’ to the Shia areas. Furthermore, the U.S. countermeasures will
then make sure that even those Shias who up to now were not active on a
military level will get involved in the conflict.”
"Attacked From All Sides"
Senior columnist Ernst Trost commented in
mass-circulation tabloid Neue Kronenzeitung (10/13): “The invisible enemy can strike from
anywhere, and sometimes he hits the very heart of the matter. This time, a concrete barrier outside the
Baghdad Hotel was able to prevent a large-scale catastrophe. While President Bush is investing money and
energy in trying to sell the successful reconstruction and democratization of
Iraq to the American people, the pictures of fire, smoke and injured victims
around a hotel which housed members of the new administration, and possibly
also the CIA, are a drastic denial.
Safety has become an unaffordable luxury item in Iraq--not only for the
occupiers, but also for the Iraqis themselves.”
BELGIUM: "The Infernal
Logic Washington Had Not Anticipated"
Baudouin Loos opined in left-of-center Le Soir
(10/14): "Of course, not everything
is going wrong in Iraq. Iraqi children
are going back to school, freedom of expression is a reality with the existence
of numerous media, internet and mobile phones are booming, and, this week,
Iraqis will see the arrival of a new dinar....
Besides, an interim government--although with limited power--has been
put in place, and 40,000 policemen have been trained. Yet, nothing really happened according to the
plans that the U.S. administration imagined during the preparation of Iraq’s
invasion.... The plans for the
occupation show an impressive number of mistakes. The first one is not to have anticipated that
the fall of an authoritative regime that was extremely centralized would leave
the country in a state of total confusion, with services to the population no
longer being assured and lootings becoming systematic. Rumsfeld’s decision to operate with a minimum
of troops...paid off to conquer Iraq, but it turned out to be catastrophic when
it came to controlling the country."
"The Debate On Cost Of Post-War In Iraq Raging In U.S."
Nathalie Mattheiem wrote in left-of-center Le Soir
(10/10): “The appointment of Condoleezza
Rice to coordinate efforts in Iraq is perceived as a clear indication of the
impatience of the U.S. President, of whom she has the ear, more than anyone
else. And although Donald
Rumsfeld--apparently surprised by the president’s decision--downplayed its
importance, it nevertheless underlines that, for the White House, it is urgent
to receive some ‘good news’ from Iraq.”
CZECH REPUBLIC: "Iraqi
Viliam Buchert noted in the mainstream MF Dnes
(10/13): "The explosions at Hotel
Baghdad in the Iraqi capital on Sunday can have the same devastating
consequences for many politicians in the world, including George Bush, who is
already bracing for a new presidential campaign next year, and Tony Blair, who
is trusted by less and less British citizens.
But Iraq is now a 'peace trap' for the allies, which has started to
resemble the endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It seems to be an insurmountable problem to win
the trust of a majority of Iraqis. It
will require a strong hand as well as willingness to compromise and perhaps
even to make concessions. But these can
be hardly expected from the participating soldiers and politicians."
HUNGARY: "At Odds With
Current news editor Miklos Ujvari editorializes
in liberal Hungarian daily Magyar Hirlap (10/13): “Sure! Absolutely! These are the words the that members of the
Bush team are shouting out loud, when it comes to explaining whether the war
was illegitimate or not in Iraq. The
Bush team is pro-active in public relations now that the facts have turned
against them. Bad news is for the facts
only. The worst predictions, it seems,
have come true in Iraq. There seems to
be hardly any chance of successful reconstruction after the war in Iraq, not to
mention the chances of healing the wounds caused by the Saddam regime. Why?
Because hell has broken loose [in Iraq].... The problem is that the longer the American
tenure lasts, the more organized and the more fanatic the local forces that
keep the international forces at bay [will] become.”
Foreign affairs writer Laszlo Szentesi writer
from Karbala, Iraq in right-wing conservative Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet
(10/11): "The Iraqi Shiites are
indeed working on creating their own autonomous state. But a Shiite state would hardly receive a
warm welcome in the rest of the world (Iran excepted). One thing though should not be ignored. The United States is considered as much an ‘alien
body’ in this region, (which is controlled by the Kurds on the North and by the
Shiites on the South), as the Baath Pary and the fallen dictator, Saddam
Hussein used to be. Anti-Americanism,
consequently, could soon developed to a degree never seen before in the ancient
land of Mesopotamia. The occupying
forces seemingly don’t make any efforts to understand the local conditions and
to offer a solution, a life free of fear and war to the people who live in this
IRELAND: "An Irishman's
Kevin Myers commented in the center-left Irish Times (10/16): “The U.S. is not in a Vietnam.... The truth is that much of Iraq is relatively
peaceful, and according to a Gallup poll, 62 per cent of Iraqis agree with the
use of war to get rid of Saddam, and 67 per cent are optimistic about the
future.... The tenacity and courage of
those Iraqis who are prepared to work for the allies suggests they, and much of
the rest of the population, see the bigger picture: unless democratic
structures can be forged out of the chaos of post-war Iraq, then the Iraqi
people will be doomed to revert to that murderous anarchy from which they are
emerging.... Nobody could countenance
everything that U.S. forces have done since their arrival. There have been tragic mistakes, and perhaps
a fairly predictable heavy-handedness.
U.S. forces don't seem to do peacekeeping all that well.... It is now in the U.S.'s vital interests that
terrorism doesn't succeed in Iraq. The
U.S. has no choice but to be successful in creating stable government
there. Similarly it is also in our
interest. Yet across Europe, and even
within the U.S. itself, there is apparently a widespread desire to see the U.S.
fail, to see it humiliated: and this hope seems to color a great deal of
commentary about events in Iraq.... The
military operation against the satanic regime of Saddam Hussein was one of the
most morally justified wars in history.”
"Bloodbath Slows But Doubt Persists Over US Intentions"
The center left daily The Irish Times, Lara Marlowe
commented (10/14): “America's road to
hell in Iraq is paved with good intentions, the promiscuous use of lethal
force, and the absence of a coherent strategy.
If there is a well-defined plan for restoring security, rebuilding the
country's infrastructure and achieving the transition from occupation to
self-determination for the Iraqi people, U.S. officials are doing a good job of
keeping it secret.... The lawlessness
that claims hundreds of civilian lives every month is the primary concern of
Iraqis. The mass rehiring of policemen
has slowed the bloodbath, but not enough to convince the population that the
U.S. really cares about their safety....
The U.S. wants to bring more foreign troops in, though numerous examples
show the near impossibility of imposing a solution through military
means.... The proverbial buck does not
stop with Mr Bremer. The problem is that
the buck doesn't stop anywhere in Iraq; no one is accountable.”
Roger Hercz commented in the social democratic Dagavisen
(10/15) : “The Americans understood something that maybe wasn’t understood by
Europe to the same extent: In the Arab Middle East there isn’t a single
democracy, and the lack of anything that resembles democracy is part of what
creates militant extremism. Now one can
discuss whether war was the right 'means,’ or if democracy can be imposed from
the outside. One may also discuss if it
is really America’s job to democratize the Middle East. But this is exactly what Norway has been
trying for almost ten years in the Middle East.… However, there are no short
cuts to a solution. But it is crucial
that the risky experiment in Iraq succeeds, because otherwise the strong
reactionary, anti-democratic and militant forces will take over. The consequences of this will be tangible,
also outside the Middle East. It is
therefore important that European countries, in their own interest, make a
clear decision on Iraq and in what way they can contribute."
SERBIA & MONTENEGRO (KOSOVO):
"Jobless Albanian Youth Can Support American Army In Iraq”
Elida Bucpapaj commented in pro-LDK, mass
circulation Bota Sot wrote (10/15):
“Ten million Albanians who live in 5 state units in the Balkans have
supported the U.S. since President Bush declared war on the international
terrorism.... One cannot consider a 70
strong commando unit from Albania (currently operating in Iraq) to be the
fulfillment of their support…. The
Albanians...are only waiting for is for the Bush administration's request. The issue here is not 1,000 or 2,000 volunteers,
but tens and hundreds of thousands of them.
From Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Eastern Kosovo (Presevo
Valley). Keeping in mind that the
unemployment rate in Kosovo reaches 70% and mostly affects the youth of
Kosovo....all this unemployed army (that keeps in their hearts the deepest
gratitude for Americans) could voluntarily replace a considerable part of the
American troops in Iraq. On the other
hand, an Albanian presence in Iraq would not cause any reaction among the Iraqi
population, as it would the contingents of Serb troops (being an occupying and
bloodthirsty army) that have perpetrated ethnic cleansing and genocide in the
territory of former Yugoslavia”
Left-of-center El País contended (10/15): "The fact that the murder of the Spanish
military officer was claimed by an unknown armed organization called Martyr of
Mehrab indicates that there could have been a political element directly behind
the crime.... Although the difference
between resistance and terrorism isn't always easy to see, what's clear is that
before the U.S. invasion there was a dictatorship in Iraq, but there weren't
terrorism problems; but now the country has become of the epicenters of Islamic
terrorism against the U.S. and its closest allies. Faced with dim prospects for peace, one can
imagine realistic scenarios of an increased threat against Spanish
troops.... More UN involvement is
necessary, much more than the U.S. wants, not because the UN is going to
resolve the security situation, but because it will give legitimacy to the
presence of the forces there, including the Spanish. In the current circumstances, a withdrawal of
U.S. forces would generate more chaos and anarchy, but fixing a deadline and an
exit strategy could contribute to a faster restoration of stability, and a
quick return of the Spanish forces."
"Iraq And The UN"
Centrist La Vanguardia took this view (10/15): "Washington has persisted in making
decisions on its own, without offering any explanation to the international
community.... The United States is
making a virtue of necessity and is preparing to transfer power to an Iraqi
Government Council that until now has shown an absolutely docility. The real power will be in Washington, but the
mother country will consider a partial and progressive withdrawal of troops
that must clear Bush's path to re-election.
Meanwhile, the UN is preparing to bless the new status quo, though it is
little different from the current one."
"The Future Of Iraq And International Consensus"
Business daily Expansión noted (10/15): "More troops are needed and, above all,
more international cooperation under the umbrella of the UN, which will give
the operation the legitimacy it did not have because of its unilateralism. Bush should know that the support of other
parties has a price, and he will have to make more political concessions if he
wants the Spanish example to spread...in the Madrid Donors Conference. The development of a prosperous and
democratic Iraq which can transmit modernity to the countries of the region
depends on that."
"Deterioration And Doubts In Iraq"
A column in Spanish daily El Mundo opined
(10/13): "Chaos is taking hold of
Iraq, while the inability of Paul Bremer...to resolve the problems is becoming
more obvious by the day. Yesterday was
another black day. Six Iraqis lost their
lives in a suicide attack with two car bombs on the Hotel Baghdad, where
leading U.S. officials live, including the CIA's top brass in the
country.... Almost at the same time as
this terrorist action occurred, the Shia religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr, son
of a cleric assassinated by Saddam in 1999, proclaimed himself head of a
government in the strip of territory where that belief is in the majority. The Shia representatives of the provisional
government in Baghdad themselves dismissed the initiative of Al-Sadr, whom they
do not consider to be representative because of his fundamentalist ideas. But nobody can rule out a burgeoning of
similar initiatives in an ever more fragmented Iraq.... The large military force deployed in Iraq
theoretically supports the provisional government that is trying to bring life
in the country back to normal, but the problem is that U.S. support
delegitimizes that government project....
Nor do the State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA agree about the
strategy to follow, so Bush has had to appoint Condoleezza Rice to take over
the coordination of the U.S. administration in Iraq. The U.S. carefully planned its military
strategy to put an end to Saddam, but since the fall of Baghdad it has done
nothing more than adopt improvized measures to resolve short-term
TURKEY: "Iraq And
Taha Akyol commented in the mass appeal Milliyet
(10/16): “Normally it would expected
that immediately after a parliamentary decree such as that passed last week,
the U.S. would begin negotiating with Turkey about the terms of its troop
deployment. Yet we see that this is not
happening.... Turkish officials believe
that Turkey should use the route from Turkey to Iraq, the same route used for
oil and food deliveries to American troops.
The U.S. seems to rely solely on the Kurds in Iraq. The Arabs are very annoyed about the U.S.’s
favoritism, and they are now making efforts to isolate the Kurds. The U.S. should act with a better vision and
greater common sense. The turmoil in
Iraq will harm Turkey, but it will be the U.S. who will suffer from terrorism
more than anyone else.”
"Will Ankara Step Back?"
Murat Yetkin held in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(10/15): “After the terrorist attack
against the Turkish embassy in Baghdad, the question of the day has become
whether or not Turkey will still send troops to Iraq. American officials condemned the attack, and
noted that it highlighted once again the gravity of the security and stability
issues in Baghdad.... On Turkey’s role
in Iraq, the U.S. goes no further than some generally positive remarks about
the Turkish parliament’s authorization for the deployment. The Turkish ambassador in Washington had some
important meetings with U.S. officials on that issue, and he underlined that Turkey
expects the U.S. to convince the IGC about the necessity of Turkish troops and
to take some tangible steps in the fight against the PKK/KADEK.... Recently, the Turkish MFA gave this same
message to U.S. Ambassador Edelman in Ankara.... The U.S. hesitation on this issue might be
explained by a number of factors: the fact that the approval of the decree for
sending troops came faster than the U.S. had expected; the rise in terrorist
attacks in Iraq; Kurdish efforts to oppose the deployment of Turkish troops
even if this would result in a confrontation with the U.S. However, the ongoing uncertainty has a
negative impact on Turkey’s decision-making process. The recent attack in Baghdad and possible new
attacks will certainly put more pressure on the government.... Turkey has done its part. Now it is the U.S. that stands at a turning
point. The U.S. must act quickly. It must prove that the fight against
terrorism is not just rhetoric intended to legitimize American global
"The Iraq Reality"
Zafer Atay commented in the economic-political Dunya
(10/15): “Believing that Turkey will not
be viewed as an occupation force but only as a force to protect peace and
stability is nothing but wishful thinking.
Let’s face it--all foreign troops are considered part of the occupation
force by the majority of Iraqis. Peace
and security cannot be preserved there, because there is none.... The possible areas of responsibility for
Turkish forces are not very encouraging, because all of them are places with
high risk.... Having said that, we also
have to face another reality. This time,
Ankara did not have the chance to say no to Washington. Leaving aside the 8.5 billion dollar credit,
Turkey must be present in Iraq because of the issues of PKK terrorism and the
Kurdish groups in the north. Turkey
should be in a position to make a hard bargain with the U.S. about its military
contribution. That is the best Turkey
can do under the current circumstances.”
"Turkey And The Future Of Iraq"
Ramazan Gozen wrote in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(10/14): “History has proven that any
negative development in Iraq is immediately and inevitably reflected in
Turkey.... Current developments between
Turkey and Iraq are so important that they can influence the entire
region. Thus, Turkey should be able to
use this opportunity by carving out a pioneering role for itself. This role requires Turkey to act as a model
for the region as well as for Iraq--that is, a democratic, multicultural Turkey
that protects the rights of its citizens.
Achieving such a goal will require Turkey to abandon its fears of being
‘surrounded by enemies,’ which dominated Turkish thinking in the 1990s.”
"More Deterioration for Conditions in Iraq"
An op-ed piece in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram
stated (10/9): "Six months after
Iraq's occupation, conditions there are still getting more complicated and
deteriorating by the day. During these
six months, there have been consecutive promises by U.S. and British
politicians and military personnel to the Iraqi people that all the problems
and obstacles that used to hinder their progress, prosperity and freedom were
about to come to an end. However, the
situation on the ground in various parts of Iraq...demonstrate that nothing of
the sort had materialized.... Perhaps
the most recent complication that threatens to drive Iraq into a new arena of
conflict and deterioration is the US-Turkish agreement to send Turkish military
troops to Iraq. This move is being
rejected by the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people led by the
provisional Governing Council that has been appointed by the U.S.
Administration.... At the same time, it
is clear that a mounting rejection of the provisional Governing Council and the
interim government it has formed is beginning to crystallize among many sectors
of the Iraqi people. This was reflected
in the decision taken lately by one of the Shiite leaders to establish another
Iraqi government parallel to the current interim one and putting it to a
popular referendum.... The only solution
to start getting Iraq out of its ordeal is to bring the occupation to an end
and hand all forms of political, security and economic powers to the people of
Iraq. This should be preceded by an
interim period during which the UN would supervise the transfer of all powers
to the Iraqis."
Chief Editor Taher Udwan wrote in independent, mass-appeal Al-Arab
Al-Yawm (10/15): "Without a
conviction by all parties in Iraq that the U.S. occupation is just temporary
and not here to stay, chaos and bombings are just going to continue. Moreover, the Turkish military presence will
be an incentive to expand the circle of domestic wars. In light of this fact, the conferences that
are being held outside Iraq to discuss the reconstruction of Iraq are deemed
meaningless. This is because they seem
like venues for ministers from the Iraqi Governing Council to exercise their
abilities to present proposals and ideas after it has been proven that they are
marginalized and they can do nothing when they are in Baghdad because
Administrator Bremer is there and he is everything and he only listens to ideas
from Kissinger, Wolfowitz and Thomas Friedman.”
Daily columnist Urayb Rintawi maintained in center-left,
influential Al-Dustour (10/15):
“It is truly regrettable that Turkey’s decision to cross the borders
into Iraq as dictated by the United States comes at a time when Islamists are
in power and in parliament.... They
shoulder the burden of a decision that could neither be taken by the (Turkish)
military institution nor by its National Security Council.”
"A Turkish Decision That No One Approves Of"
Mahmoud Rimawi judged in semi-official, influential Al-Rai
(10/10): “The Turkish parliament’s vote
in favor of sending Turkish troops into Iraq is an important development in how
Turkey is addressing the Iraqi issue....
Most likely, this step by Turkey aims at establishing a foothold on
Iraqi territories, and participating, by the force of a de facto situation, in
the process of determining Iraq’s fate....
What underscores fears about this Turkish move is the fact that Turkish
forces have crossed Iraqi borders hundreds of times over the past two decades,
which suggests that this move is a resumption of the violation of borders and
sovereignty and the establishment of a relationship based on flagrant and crude
intervention, which forewarns problematic relations in the future.”
QATAR: "Viewpoint: US
Military Should Respect Iraqi Clerics"
The independent, pro-government Doha Gulf
Times editorialized (10/13):
"Rapid developments are taking place in Iraq, where hundreds of
citizens marched in Najaf yesterday in support of the shadow Cabinet announced
by Moqtada Sadr, a young Shia cleric.
The firebrand preacher's proclamation, made during his weekly sermon in
the holy town of Kufa, is a direct challenge to the occupying powers and the
interim authority appointed by them. The
U.S. forces, whose presence has been tolerated by the Shia community as the
necessary alternative to Saddam's oppressive rule, have made a number of
mistakes which risk losing them the co-operation of the dominant religious
group in Iraq, with potentially disastrous results.... Six months after the fall of Baghdad, the
situation remains unstable, city streets are unsafe and explosions or attacks
can happen at any time. On Thursday and
Friday, more than 10 Iraqis were killed and 20 arrested by the U.S. on
suspicion of financing activities linked to anti-coalition attacks. Yesterday, more than 10,000 Shias marched in
a funeral procession for the victims of a shootout in Sadr City during which
they denounced the Americans. The U.S.
military in Iraq has shown a lack of understanding of the local culture
including a failure to appreciate the respect accorded to religious
leaders.... If U.S. commanders in Iraq
fail to comprehend the role religious leaders play in Iraq they could quickly
be caught in an escalating spiral of violence."
SYRIA: "Dilemma Of The
Khaled al-Ashhab commented in government-owned Al-Thawra
(10/15): "The current U.S. impasse
in Iraq is not caused by a lack of an appropriate strategy for post-war Iraq,
nor caused by the growing Iraq anti-occupation resistance operations.... The real U.S. dilemma is in the 'superior
U.S. mind,' which seeks to manage the world by the motto of 'the U.S. chosen
people of God,' who are sent to humanity for a 'divine mission' of killing, occupation
and hegemony under the belief that they are doing good to humanity. Removing the Iraqi file from Donald Rumsfeld
to Condoleezza Rice does not mean getting over the U.S. impasse in Iraq,
rather, it is changing entrances while the Zionist Supreme mind continues to
govern the U.S."
TUNISIA: "The Bush
Administration Is Disintegrating"
Editor Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane observed in independent
French-language Le Quotidien (10/15):
"In the face of criticism...the American president announced that
his administration has a strategy in Iraq.
A strategy that he summarized in three words: 'It is I Who Govern.' The failure of the American army to restore
order in Iraq is not the only thing that led up to Bush’s announcement.... George Bush is finding problems in restoring
the order not only in Iraq but also within his own administration. An administration that starts to misfire as
SecState Powell has given in to the Hawks, weakened by his failure to rally the
UN to the American cause.... Today the
Hawks themselves are being singled out.
Their chief of war, Rumsfeld, who is the instigator of the Iraq war, has
to confront the pitfalls of the aftermath of this war. Hence, with a forgotten Powell, a tottering
Rice and a Rumsfeld in the line of sight of criticism, President Bush finds
himself alone at the helm. His claiming
today to be the only one who governs Iraq, is considered as a kind of
acknowledgement of his government’s failure to come out of the war unscathed."
JAPAN: "Iraq Weighing
Heavily On Bush And Koizumi"
The liberal Asahi predicted (10/16): "During their meeting on Friday, PM
Koizumi will brief President Bush on Japan's 'independent' decision to provide
1.5 billion USD in grants to Iraq's reconstruction, and the president will
welcome the offer.... Such a scenario is
highly likely, given the close working relationship between the U.S. and
Japanese leaders. But the current Iraq
situation, which is stuck in the mud, will weigh heavily on President Bush, who
is seeking re-election in 2004, and on PM Koizumi, who is also seeking a
victory for the LDP in the November 9 Lower House election to maintain his
position as prime minister."
"Japan Under Behind-the-Scenes U.S. Pressure"
The top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri observed
(10/16): "The GOJ's announcement on
Wednesday of a 1.5 billion USD grant aid package for Iraq, which comes two days
before President Bush's visit to Tokyo, was a demonstration of Japan's
independent decision to actively assist in the reconstruction of Iraq. However, the government has actually been
under repeated U.S. pressure through various channels to actively help rebuild
Iraq. Prime Minister Koizumi said
Wednesday evening 'I've told President Bush to please count on Japan. Japan will do without fail what it says. Japan is well aware of what it is supposed to
do to help Iraq.' PM Koizumi's remarks
indicate that Japan has been under U.S. pressure to make an active
"Undisguised U.S. Pressure For Troops for Iraq"
The nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun
editorialized (10/16): “In the run-up to
the ROK-U.S. summit talks early next week, Washington is openly applying
pressure on Seoul to send combat troops to Iraq. U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza
Rice has said that the U.S. is confident that the ROK will continue to support
American policies in Iraq, based on the strong bilateral alliance. President Roh must not allow a few U.S. officials’
remarks to influence his stated resolve to give careful consideration to the
troop dispatch issue.... Even though
government officials are denying a recent New York Times report that
Secretary of State Colin Powell was angry with Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan
when the latter linked the dispatch of Korean troops to the U.S.’s attitude
toward North Korea during their meeting last month, the report clearly shows
the two-faced U.S. attitude of being active in getting the ROK to send troops
to Iraq while being lackadaisical in dealing with the North Korean nuclear
problem, an issue that is directly related to security on the Korean
"U.S. Requests For Additional Troops"
The nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun
editorialized (10/10): “If Washington
gives up pursuing a UN resolution on Iraq, Seoul will likely be under stronger
U.S. pressure for additional Korean troops for Iraq, as the ROK is among the
few countries--including Pakistan--which the U.S. is intensively asking to send
troops to Iraq.... The situation in Iraq
is becoming more and more like the past situation in Vietnam. If Washington truly wants a rapid
rehabilitation of Iraq and the restoration of order in the country, it must
immediately admit its wrongdoing and hand the war-torn country over to the
Iraqi people, which is the only way for the U.S. to shed its image as an
occupier. It is really deplorable to see
certain quarters of our government even discuss the need to send ‘our elite
troops’ to Iraq in order to reduce possible casualties of our forces.”
Superpower Finds It Difficult To Handle Iraq Alone"
Independent leading daily Kompas editorialized
(10/16): “The situation in Iraq is
obviously confusing, not only for those who do not follow developments there,
but even for the U.S. which has occupied the country since April. A poll by Gallup found that more than
two-thirds of the residents in Baghdad want the U.S. troops to stay on longer
than just several months. But they still
have mixed feelings about the occupational forces. As another finding indicated, one in every
five residents of the capital city said attacks on the occupational forces are
justified.... In this regard, the U.S.
should turn to other parties. And
bearing in mind that the restructuring program in Iraq is very costly, it is
clear that it will be very difficult for the U.S. to bear the cost alone. But, asking other countries will obviously
demand a compromise from the U.S. Even
as of last Tuesday, the U.S. still insisted that its forces keep full authority
in controlling Iraq.”
Deployment Takes Some Big Risks"
The lead editorial in top-circulation, moderately conservative,
English language Bangkok Post read (10/12): “The news that the Turkish Parliament had
reversed its policy and agreed to send a sizable number of peacekeepers to Iraq
incited deep divisions in Turkey and Iraq.
On the face of it, it seems a very good move. The significant presence of a neighbor and a
fellow Muslim country in the peacekeeping force, which is dominated by Western
Christian nations, seems to make good sense.
But the interim Iraqi Governing Council initially condemned the
deployment of Turkish troops, saying that they do not want soldiers from any
neighboring countries.... Though
security is still the overriding issue, Bush and Bremer are right to point out
that there are many positives. And
regardless of their stance on the war itself, nearly all world leaders agree
that there is no going back, that the political and economic transformation of
Iraq must be carried on. In that spirit,
the Turkish troops, and all others, should be welcomed, and hopefully all the
fears and dire predictions will prove groundless. The biggest hope is that, someday soon, all
foreign troops will be able to leave the security of Iraq to the Iraqi
people. It is probably too much to hope
for, however, that that day will come before the one year troop commitment made
by the Turkish government is up.”
The Mumbai edition of right-of-center Marathi daily Tarun
Bharat judged (10/15): "America
had virtually sidelined the UN while invading Iraq.... But despite winning the war in Iraq, it is
becoming increasingly difficult for the U.S. to win the confidence of
Iraqis. Reconstruction of Iraq is also a
costly affair which cannot be managed single-handedly by America. Therefore, the U.S. has gradually realized
the importance of the UN as a safety shield in Iraq. Similarly, those countries which had opposed
America on the Iraq issue have slowly realized their dependence on the American
economy. A depression in the American
economy will inevitably result in a worldwide slump. For these obvious reasons, the detractors of
the U.S. in the Security Council have shown willingness for a compromise. However, this co-operation among the feuding
countries is welcome when seen in the context of the UN getting its
due.... The atmosphere of co-operation
is also manifest in the fact that the foreign affairs minister in Iraq,
naturally an American appointee, has been allowed to speak at the ongoing
convention of Organization of Islamic Conference in Malaysia."
"Three Blind Men"
Seema Mustafa contended in the centrist Asian Age
(10/11): "Bush is getting hit, and
getting hit hard in Iraq. He is speaking
of the Iraqis now as Ba'ath Party remnants and foreign terrorists. It is
strange how remnants have a way of haunting the U.S. president and his men in
arms.... It is impossible for him to
admit that the resistance in Iraq is from the people who will not and cannot
accept U.S. occupation. Why is this
single fact so difficult for Bush, and even the Americans to accept? That they are not seen as liberators by the
rest of the world.... Many
countries...see them as oppressors and occupiers. The ordinary Iraqi is picking up the gun that
he had put away, against the occupation forces.
This is the truth that Bush just cannot even acknowledge let alone
digest.... Bush cannot crawl away. He
has to keep fighting in Iraq, for in this he still has some hope of keeping
some of the people with him.... Just as
the U.S. was applauding the Turkish decision to send troops to Iraq, the Iraqi
Governing Council rejected the move....
The fact remains that the U.S.-supported body now also appears to be
moving out of its control.... But for
Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, oil and power are a blinding combination. Sovereign nations do not matter, leaders do
not matter, the people do not matter."
An editorial in the centrist national English daily, The News
held (10/16): "Tuesday’s suicide
bombing of the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad has underscored the fact that its
troops will receive no welcome from the resistance either.... Regardless of its perceived interests, the
undeniable fact remains that its troops are not welcome in Iraq and would very
much be a part of the illegal and oppressive occupation forces there with the
future unknown. In this context, it is
encouraging that Pakistan has moved away from its initial 'agreement in
principle' to send its troops to Iraq under a UN resolution and with OIC or GCC
support.... To avoid future grief, it
would be wiser to follow Saudi Arabia in demanding that the welcome mat be
extended by a genuinely representative Iraqi government, and not the puppet
Governing Council. Iraq, as is becoming
increasingly obvious, is a veritable mess and the farther away from it that
Pakistan stays the better."
"Iraqis Reject Turkish Troops"
The Islamabad rightist English daily, Pakistan Observer
judged (10/16): "Tuesday's blast
outside the Turkish mission is a loud and clear message to all those who are
bracing to assist the United States in its bid to consolidate its hold over the
vanquished Muslim State. We wonder if
Pakistan will still be willing to send its troops to Iraq in the given
circumstances particularly in the wake of increasing Iraqi resistance against
the occupation forces. There ought to be
no illusion that contribution of forces by any country to assist the U.S. at
this stage will be taken as a hostile act by the Iraqi people."
"Iraq in the Fore"
The center-right English-language Nation commented
(10/15): "While Turkey has
committed to send troops, it is not being seen as an example to follow by the
other OIC members, with even Qatar, which was U.S. CENTCOM headquarters for the
Iraqi invasion, calling for a clear and quick timetable for the restoration of
Iraqi sovereignty and the withdrawal of foreign forces. This seems to be the consensus emerging from
the OIC: a call for 'foreign forces' to withdraw at the earliest."
"Friends in Need"
A letter to the Editor by S. Omar Ahsan in Karachi's
center-left English-language Dawn read (10/15): "Are our troops really all that eager to
go? The state is unwilling or unable to
employ them to protect people being slain on streets and in mosques or from
raids by tribesmen sweeping into the little hamlets of Sindh. But before we send our jawans, let them be
warned that they will be entering a quagmire.
In addition to the fully justified wrath of the Iraqi people, they will
also be in danger of being cut down by their American comrades who, by all
accounts, need instruction in the safe conduct of firearms around both
civilians and allies."
"Iraq's No To Turkish Troops"
An editorial in the Islamabad rightist English daily, Pakistan
Observer held (10/10): "The
perception that dispatch of troops to Iraq will consolidate U.S. occupation and
will be an act to justify American aggression against Baghdad with far-reaching
bearing on peace, security and stability in the Middle East is gaining momentum
the world over. The nations have seen
through the U.S. game and are not ready to fall into its trap once
again.... Washington can no more
hoodwink the world community with its deceptive slogans of WMD, which have not
been found in Iraq even after months of intensive search by its own
inspectors. Pakistan will hopefully take
the message in right earnest that Iraqi Governing Council as well as the
Turkish people have conveyed to the international community. Islamabad should not send its troops to Iraq
even under UN cover in the absence of a time frame for the withdrawal of U.S.
forces from Iraq and restoration of Iraq’s sovereignty over its oil
resources. It’s hoped that UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan will not succumb to any pressure and will refuse to bail out
Washington in the absence of time frame for U.S. withdrawal."
An editorial in English-language The
Independent stated (10/13): "In
the latest of a series of suicide car bomb explosions seven people were killed
and scores wounded at the Baghdad Hotel.
This hotel in the Iraqi capital is used by US officials and the Iraqi
Council. The latter is generally
considered as a puppet organisation of the U.S. and there is deep resentment
against it among many Iraqis. While
there has been little in the way of a popular uprising the fact remains that
the U.S. forces are generally considered an army of occupation.... The U.S. is blaming Iraqi and foreign
extremists--those supposed to have poured into Iraq to fight U.S. and British
troops. But nothing so far has
conclusively been proven. In the midst
of all this confusion one thing is clear.
The significant section of Iraqi people--whether aided by foreigners or
not--are opposed to continued U.S. and British presence in their soil. What can be potentially alarming for the
Americans is the fact that the remnants of Bath party activists seem to have
joined forces with fanatics. The Bath
party has always been secular but at present its members have found common
grounds for their struggle. These
suicide bombings are a great hindrance for any lasting peace in the region but
on the other hand America's attitude leaves a lot to be desired.... American troops have proven to be trigger
happy and have resorted to extreme measures at the slightest hint of
provocation.... The death toll in Iraq
continues to rise and there is little hope of things cooling down anytime
soon.... Already there are signs that America
may find itself in a Vietnam like quagmire yet again."
"Please Help Us To Help You"
The independent left-of-centre Nation noted (10/15): “The Iraqi President had 'accumulated' only
conventional weapons without which a state cannot be called a state. This fact has since swung world opinion
drastically away from Mr. Bush.... The
only problem is that Mr. Bush himself makes it difficult for many to
sympathize. By continuing to insist that
his invasion was right and that Saddam remains the problem, he does not seem to
accept his errors. He seems to believe that,
by harping on what has become a non-problem, he will continue to drum up world
sympathy. Few are interested in where
Saddm is. Stopping the killing and
getting Iraq back on its feet is what concerns them. It is in this cause that Mr. Bush needs to seek
"The Tough Challenge Of Peace"
Lysiane Gagnon wrote in the centrist La Presse of Montreal
(10/14): "So far there have been
few constructive suggestions. The most
loquacious has been President Chirac, who recently enjoined the Americans to
leave Iraq within three months by gradually shifting power over to the
Iraqis. As if the Americans had the
inclination of staying for good on this wretched land. Granted, the United States is an empire but
it is not a colonial power. The
Americans are trying to transfer power to the Iraqis, but the state of anarchy
is such that it will take more than three months. (This process took seven years in Bosnia, two
years in tiny East Timor and is not even completed in Kosovo.) As French philosopher André Glucksmann
pointed out, the Chirac ultimatum did not lack piquancy, when one remembers
that Chirac, only a few months ago, was denouncing the governing council as a
puppet regime.... Unfortunately Iraq is
not ready to start its metamorphosis towards democracy."
BRAZIL: "Limits of
Right-of-center O Globo editorialized (10/13): "Six months after the U.S. intervention
in Iraq, what seemed to be a victorious campaign has the appearance of a
nightmare for occupational forces. It's
not only about the many deaths...but especially the scenario that becomes
harder every day. The last warning on
this sense came from the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.... He reminded that the U.S. now faces in Iraq
the possibility of a long, violent war that will have a useless result just
like the one the Soviet Union had in Afghanistan. He noted Iraq could become a magnet to all
destructive elements spread out in the region and also the remote ones.... Putin has suggested that the Americans should
act fast to re-establish Iraq's sovereignty, and obtain a UN resolution to
clearly define the permanence of the international occupation forces in the
country. It seems like good